Odd Lead


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First Big Foot
September 9, 2009, 10:26 PM
I have been casting bullets since 1995 when Wifey bought me a B-day present of a Lee Pot. Just recently I have been getting about one in twenty weights that won't melt. Does anyone know if they are Zinc, or aluminum, or pot metal, or something like that.
Thanks

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jcwit
September 9, 2009, 10:27 PM
More than likely zinc.

Jolly Rogers
September 10, 2009, 12:43 PM
Wheel weights in Lead are going away due to environmental pressures. Stock up now. Weights I see at my shop are Zinc, Iron and Steel and less and less Lead. Melt the Lead and scoop off all the weights that float to the top. Don't over heat the melt as the Zinc will melt and contaminate the alloy.
More information here:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/
Search for wheel weights and plan on spending some time to read all of the posts.
Joe

blikseme300
September 10, 2009, 07:19 PM
I am seeing more & more zinc and steel wws. The steel ones are not a problem, but watch out for zinc. I run my melting pot at just enough heat to melt lead alloy. This prevents the zinc wws from melting. If you see scum in your melt that looks like oats porridge then you for sure have zinc contamination. If this happens, go cast some fishing weights as this mix will not work for boolits.:cuss:

First Big Foot
September 11, 2009, 10:58 AM
Thanks guys.
I normally run my pot at the highest setting, so I likely did the Zinc thing.
What happens if I did.
Do I need to cull out all those ingots?
I thought the ingots were pouring as if they weren't hot enough, (lotsa cellulite wrinkles.)
Does that mean they are contaminated?

Oh, and by the way, I went back to the unmelting weights, and a couple were marked "Fe", so I tried it on a magnet, and sure enough, it stuck. So it may be possible to sort them out by markings. Will do more research. Anybody out there got input?

First Big Foot
September 11, 2009, 11:00 AM
Anybody know if the Zinc contaminated lead can be diluted? I probably have 50 pounds of lead/zinc ingots now.

clone
September 11, 2009, 11:28 AM
From what I under stand, you shouldn't use the lead with zinc contamination. It will never mix properly and you may end up with bullets that are heaver on one end/side and that would cause problems with accuracy.

762 shooter
September 12, 2009, 09:55 PM
There are iron weights also. Most are marked " Fe ".

243winxb
September 13, 2009, 07:52 AM
Run a small test batch, add 2% tin. You could have a very high content of antimony with some zinc. Run pot at maximum temperature for the test. Air cool the bullets, no water droping.

qajaq59
September 13, 2009, 08:42 AM
Has anyone ever determined how much zinc it takes to contaminate say 10 llbs of lead? I know the bullets wont fill out properly if zinc is in the alloy, but I've never heard mentioned just how much it takes to ruin the alloy.

243winxb
September 13, 2009, 08:57 AM
Anybody know if the Zinc contaminated lead can be diluted? I probably have 50 pounds of lead/zinc ingots now. I have added indoor range scrap or linotype to get a better fill out. Testing is needed to know how much to add. Almost impossible to know whats in scrap alloys.

243winxb
September 13, 2009, 09:12 AM
If you see scum in your melt that looks like oats porridge then you for sure have zinc contamination. Antimony and copper will also look like this if already blended into the alloy. Look up the melting temp. of zinc , then keep the temp below that melting point when adding WW to the pot. The WW are not pure zinc, they are an alloy also.http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_CastBullets_20090207_004.jpg (http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/CastBullets_20090207_004.jpg)

First Big Foot
September 13, 2009, 09:26 PM
So, I was wondering, if I put the ingot in the pot, which is electric and has a rheostat on it, (having first established where on the rheostat lead melts), would the lead melt out of the ingot and leave the Zinc a solid to lift out of the bucket?

Or do I just have to find a fisherman who wants to make some lead weights?
I suppose I could get a lead soldier mold and cast up a few of them. About 40 pounds worth. Anybody out there wanna pay the postage on some Zinc contaminated lead?

:cuss:

243winxb
September 13, 2009, 10:53 PM
would the lead melt out of the ingot and leave the Zinc a solid to lift out of the bucket?
It will not be a solid, more like scum in your melt that looks like oats porridge The metals should go in this order from bottom to top if heated slowly without fluxing or stiring. Lead, copper, tin,zinc, antimony. If you go by Specific Gravity / Density. http://www.reade.com/Particle_Briefings/spec_gra.html

qajaq59
September 14, 2009, 07:57 AM
I believe, although I could be wrong, that once the zinc is melted down into the lead you can't get it back out by remelting it.

243winxb
September 14, 2009, 08:28 AM
once the zinc is melted down into the lead you can't get it back out by remelting it. I would guess this is true. You don't want to remover the antimony along with the zinc. Trying a 50/50 mix might work. Take 2lb of bad alloy, add 2lb of know good alloy, WW or Linotype. Try casting some bullets, see what you get. I have done this in the past. But you never know for sure what metal is causing the problem. It could be zinc, copper,aluminum or Bismuth . Zinc WW also contain aluminum , 2 different alloys are blended to make the zinc/aluminum WW.

First Big Foot
September 14, 2009, 09:04 AM
So, thanks guys. I guess I am pretty much just screwed on this batch of lead, right?

I notice that when I bang the ingots together, some of them "ting", while others go "tunk". Would that indicate anything?
:banghead:

Rottweiler
September 15, 2009, 09:42 AM
"ting" instead of "thunk" would indicate a different metal. If you're still suspect of different metal try cutting the "ting" ones with a pair of side cutters. Unless you're VERY strong, you won't cut a zinc or steel one.

kanook
September 15, 2009, 10:51 AM
get a pair of side cutter (dykes), put the ww in and try to cut. If it starts to cut easy than it's good, if you find your squeezing hard, throw it away. Spend the afternoon trying each and every ww. so when it comes time to melting you will know your all set with your lead.

First Big Foot
September 15, 2009, 11:30 AM
They are already cast into ingots in the cleaning stage, so I doubt I can cut them by hand unless I get out the bolt cutters on the small ingots, (I use the Lee ingot mold with two sizes, and use both sizes).

It was just a late observation that I could tell there were differing constituents in the various ingots. I'm pretty sure the lead goes "tunk."

After this I will know not to melt the weights at the highest temp.
(It never occured to me they were making them of other material.)
There goes a couple weeks of spare time. Again, anybody got an idea for the odd mix? Or want some of it?

kanook
September 15, 2009, 12:14 PM
I just meant for future melting thats all. I got 3 five gallon buckets, one from the tire store, one for good ww and one for zinc. In my spare time I go and seperate some so when melting day rolls around it is seperated.

Not all is lost with the mixed lead you got now. It's still good for fishing, boat ballist, throwing at the idiots that speed on my steet.(kidding)

First Big Foot
September 15, 2009, 12:37 PM
All is not lost, I do have a .50 cal Ball mold, and can make sling shot ammo for the next 50 years.

For now, I'm gonna have to take another sixer down to the tire store and ask for their bucket.
:banghead: :cuss:

Dynamite Rabbit
September 15, 2009, 12:50 PM
I found an interesting article on lead smelting. To remove zinc, the lead has to be heated to red-hot, then oxygen is introduced, causing the zinc to rise to the top and be skimmed off. Don't think it's something you'd do at home.

http://books.google.com/books?id=iz0NAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA4-PA73&lpg=RA4-PA73&dq=remove+zinc+from+lead&source=bl&ots=l-zNBAyB1v&sig=8ntMsbN5GnBBPygLDLpSigHMEuY&hl=en&ei=l8SvSrOGL6CNtgf62_nzBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q=remove%20zinc%20from%20lead&f=false

First Big Foot
September 15, 2009, 01:06 PM
Yeah, I think I will pass on that. Too much Drain Bamage wafting away on the wind........

But thanks.

qajaq59
September 15, 2009, 01:37 PM
I found an interesting article on lead smelting. To remove zinc, the lead has to be heated to red-hot, then oxygen is introduced, causing the zinc to rise to the top and be skimmed off. Don't think it's something you'd do at home. No, and even if you could you shouldn't.

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